DIGICEL & VERIFONE COMBINE TO LAUNCH UNIQUE MOBILE WALLET PAYMENT SERVICE
Digicel and VeriFone combine to launch unique Mobile Wallet payments service in Tonga
Innovative new service uses Near Field Communications(NFC) and Point of Sale (POS) technologies to work from any mobile phonewithout the need for a bank account or credit card
Nuku’alofa, Tonga – May 14th, 2012, Digicel today launched an innovative addition to itsDigicel Mobile Money service offering which sees customers in Tonga being ableto pay for goods and services through any mobile phone using NFC technology –and without the need for a bank account or credit card.
With around 60% of the Tongan population not havingbank accounts (according to a 2011 report from Wireless Intelligence), creditcard penetration even lower and smart phones still a luxury item Digicel saysthe new service is unique in terms of being fully inclusive because it isaccessible from any type of mobile phone and unique in that the contactless POSpayments service is fully integrated with a mobile wallet and is notcard-backed.
Available initially with 50 merchants in the capitalof Nuku’alofa, plans are in place to extend the service right across theisland. The new service is a result of a partnership between Digicel andVerifone mWallet and sees the first use of Near Field Communications (NFC) withMobile Wallet services in the region.
NFC is a set of standards for smart phones and similar devices toestablish radiocommunication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no morethan a few centimetres.
In this case, Digicel and Verifone are deploying anNFC-enabled merchant payments solution which uses NFC tags linked to mobilenumbers and to contactless POS devices supplied by Verifone - meaning thatrather than just being limited to smart phone users, any mobile phonesubscriber can use the service.
With a large proportion of families in Tonga relyingon International Remittances from Australia, New Zealand and the USA, Digicelis constantly looking for new ways to ensure that money transfers and paymentscan be facilitated as quickly, securely and economically as possible. Assuch, this latest service follows the introduction of International MoneyTransfers direct to Mobile Wallets by Digicel late last year where customersin New Zealand can instantly send money online to subscribers in the Pacificfor much lower costs than using the services of the traditional operators likeWestern Union and banks.
Darren McLean, Commercial Director at Digicel Pacific,said, “International remittances play a vital role in the economies of thePacific. The level of convenience, lower cost and easy authentication providedby Digicel and VeriFone will transform the way our customers receive, manageand spend their money in this region.
He continues; “We don’t thinkthis has been done anywhere before. Combining our existing Mobile Moneyproduct with VeriFone mWallet services and NFC terminals helps us offer oursubscribers an easy, convenient and integrated mobile money experience. Wethink this will open the way to making Mobile Money the everyday means ofpayment in our Pacific markets – from groceries, airtime top-up and utilitybills, through to wages and government payments.”
Digicel has rolled out the new solution to the widerbusiness district in Tonga’s capital Nuku'alofa. In the coming months,hundreds more contactless VeriFone payment terminals will be installed in theregion and Digicel plans to introduce International Bill Payments and other newservices to its unique payments system in the near future.
The next generation payments solution is the result ofa partnership between Digicel, Verifone mWallet, and New Zealand-based currencyexchange company, KlickEx. Digicel Mobile Money is supported by UNDP,PFIP and AusAid.